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Jan 1, 05 10:53 AM

I Went to Times Square and Took Pictures of the Cops.

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And then I went to the annual non-drinkin'/druggin' dance.

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It was a hoot. I haven't gone for a number of years--since my friend Kelly Sue got married and moved to Kansas City, in fact--since then, my potential companions for the non-drinkin'/druggin' dance have been hipster boys prone to skulking by the wall. I like to dance like an idiot and, as Bow Wow Wow have said, Go Ape Crazy.

This year, I found a friend to go with --actually, a non-non-drinkin'-druggin' friend, just tired of boozy so-called festivities this year, who was astounded at the depth and breadth of the non-drinkin'-druggin' subculture--how many of us there are, how young we are, and, most pertinently, the ridiculous joy and abandon on the dance floor. Lots of young ex-ravers freaking out in front of the speakers. We danced until we were literally soaking wet.

Benefits included not having to keep an eye open for scary drunk guys; feeling a spray of liquid, one knew that it was water, not beer, getting splashed; girls not having that fuck-you-get-away affect, as no lone scary drunk guys were there to grind on their asses uninvited.

A delicious irony of the non-drinker-druggers is the joy found in drinking-drugging songs--50's "You know I got the X if you're into takin' drugs!"--et al. Wild enthusiasm ensued on the dance floor. Confusing to my dancing partner but made perfect sense to me. I have nothing against drugs--love 'em, in fact--I just don't do 'em anymore.

We left, I walked her up to the L train, we were both completely drenched. I found a $20 bill on the sidewalk, which I plan to give to the first busker I encounter as a merit-making gesture for 2005. I got a slice at Stromboli's on the walk home; a leggy blonde lurched into the pizza place and unsuccessfully tried to get a Diet Coke. "Nobody in this establishment is drunk enough," she said to me.

"You mean," I said, "nobody that's working here is drunk enough?"

"Yes." She smiled crookedly, flirtily; I guess she thought it went without saying that I was as drunk as she was.

I thought: You're absolutely right; as a matter of fact I don't believe that I've ever been drunk enough.

I passed misfortunate girls as I made my way home. One squatting between cars on First Avenue, in a nice dress and heels, puking. Another passed out cold on a bench in a bus shelter, ministered to by friends stroking her hair. She was shoeless, for some reason, and the bottoms of her feet marked up with pavement dirt.

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Posted by Mike at January 1, 2005 10:53 AM